Badger fans chat with Newswatch 12 before Big Ten title gameSubmitted: 12/03/2016

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INDIANAPOLIS - Fans all across the Badger state waited anxiously for Saturday night's matchup with Penn State.

Some even took the trip down to Indianapolis to catch the action in person.

Newswatch 12 caught up with a few of them, and some said they expected nothing but a big victory for Wisconsin.

"I am extremely confident; I was here the last time the Badgers were here and we lost by more than I would like to say. But I think it's going to be very heavily in our favor today," said Alex Christman of Madison.

That last time Christman was referring to was when the Badgers played in the 2014 conference title game.

In that one, they lost 59-0 to the eventual National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes.

While most fans didn't expect another loss like that on Saturday, some were slightly less confident than Christman.

"It's a good match. I think it's going to be a tight game," said Jason Muyer of Oshkosh. "Good defense, I don't expect any team to really outplay the other team I think it's going to come right down to the end."

The Badgers led 28-14 at the half but could not hold on to the lead as Penn State roared back to win 38-31.

Story By: Mark Spillane

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INDIANAPOLIS - Behind many college athletes stands a supportive family.

After more than three months some of those families had the chance to watch their sons play for a championship. 

Vince Biegel's parents know how important their support is. That support is even more important leading up to the Big Ten Championship game.

"This week, I did go down to Madison and we had about two hours so we went to breakfast to have some mom and son time, not just football," said Vince's mom, Jamie Biegel.

Another Central Wisconsin family, the Ramczyk's, have been to every game this season to see their son, Ryan, play.

"He's doing really well, he's enjoying the process. He's very excited, he's learned a lot, he's grown every single week," said Ryan's dad, Randy Ramczyk.

Football wasn't always the focal point in Ryan's life. A few years ago, he almost made welding his career.
"Welding was an option. He never really went into welding, but that was a thought," said Randy.

Now the whole family is happy he chose football.

"Best decision of his life. To be challenged with Division 1 football and bigger, faster, stronger," said Randy.
The town of Steven's Point, where Ryan is from, is also pretty happy with his decision.

"I drive by on the road and they see my sticker in the back window and they honk and give the thumbs up. Everybody is very, very excited," said Randy.

For the Biegel's, they know how hard Vince worked to come back after his foot surgery this season.

"He's finally healthy now so he's really feeling good about where he's at and where the team is at,' said Vince's dad, Rocky Biegel.

Now that Vince is healthy, he seems to be doing pretty well.

"The most relaxed and focused and just enjoying this more than I've ever seen him before," said Jamie.

The Biegel's have seen three different head coaches at Wisconsin. And they couldn't be happier with who they have now.

"Paul (Chryst) is a great guy. He's a good person, he's a great coach. The players gravitate towards him, he's top quality," said Rocky.

Top quality is also a way to describe the Biegel's four years with the Badgers.

"We will have many great memories. Especially relationships, people and coaches that we've made and we'll just have wonderful memories," said Jamie.

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PRENTICE - Wisconsin high school sports experienced a first on Thursday night. The Prentice vs. Lake Holcombe boys basketball game tipped off at 7 p.m. Thursday evening with two female head coaches on the sidelines.

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MADISON - The NASCAR season wrapped up last weekend with Jimmie Johnson taking the championship. But Cambridge, Wisconsin, native Matt Kenseth now has time to come back home during the off-season.

Kenseth was in Madison yesterday at Smart Toyota to meet fans. That is one thing he enjoys about coming home for the holiday.

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EAGLE RIVER - When people here think of hockey the name Northland Pines comes to mind.

That's because the Northland Pines boys and girls hockey teams know how to win. The Eagles' girls team has won three out of the last four Great Northern Conference titles.

But players like senior Mariah Miller know they face unique challenges as they take aim at back-to-back crowns.

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EAGLE RIVER - For the kids that didn't participate in the gun deer hunt this weekend, they still got the chance to learn new skills in Eagle River.
The Eagle River Ice Arena hosted a P.O.W.E.R. Skating Hockey Weekend.

The "power" acronym stands for Performance Optimized With Edges and Reactions.

Marcie Kierpiec was the instructor and she has 31 years of coaching experience and she is also a level 4 coach with USA Hockey.

"When I come in on these weekends, it's a whole other element. They're learning things they don't usually learn during hockey practice. They're like little sponges, they're really eager to learn," said Kierpiec.

There were multiple different age groups over the weekend and they all learned new skills to take back to their hockey teams.

"Stepping over the stick when you transition, and then sideways and then out transitions, and it's a lot of fun," said 11-year-old Mike Maillette.

Some of the moves Kierpiec was teaching weren't necessarily designed for hockey, but they will still help the kids with control and balance.

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LAND O' LAKES - With the first weekend of the gun deer hunt coming to an end, a Northwoods family was able to celebrate a big milestone in their deer camp's history.

"A lot of the deer camps over the years have disappeared, the old camps. So 75 years is quite a milestone,"said Tim Hirvela, who is part of the Kahlenberg family.

The 360 acre property in Land O' Lakes was bought in 1939 by Kurt Kahlenberg's grandfather.

"From that point, we've maintained the hunting camp originally from 1941 on," said Kahlenberg.

Those 75 years haven't always been easy.

"Because of the expense of the property and taxes, and ownership of property, it's hard to maintain a deer camp for a long long time," said Hirvela.

That has given the group of guys a long time to create many memories.

"The stories, every time a deer is taken, it's a different synopsis, it's not always easy," said Hirvela.

The stories and memories stay between the group of guys.

"It's our weekend, it's our week," said Kahlenberg.

The week has seen a lot of changes since they first started. Those changes make a big difference when the temperatures are low.

"We're fortunate enough to have a heater, years ago you sat on a stump and that was it," said Hirvela.

Even in the bitter cold mornings, those 360 acres mean a lot to the group.

"It's just a family tradition that my grandparents started and all us kids grew up and grew into it came to enjoy it, to love it, and keep it going forward," said Kahlenberg.

Going forward meant bringing even more people into the family.

"Even though the members that are in our camp and aren't immediate family, the camaraderie makes us all family," said Hirvela.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - Wisconsin's gun-deer season draws large crowds of hunters into the woods each year.

For many families, opening weekend of the deer season is tradition.

Doug Etten is a fourth-generation hunter in his family.

For decades they have traveled to Lincoln County for the deer hunt opening weekend.

"It was just kind of one of those things you did as a kid," Etten. "You just kind of followed the generations up to the cabin and just started hunting in the hills up here with everybody else."

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MADISON - High School football season will come to an end this weekend, and the Edgar Wildcats had a good ending. They won the state championship Thursday morning.

The Division 7 title game was at Camp Randall in Madison and Edgar took down Shullsburg 36-6. 

That was after their very successful season going 11-3. The Wildcats have found themselves in the state game 11 times and have won 7 titles. 

They are now tied with Stratford and Lancaster for the most state championships in the state.  

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander boys varsity basketball team will look a little different this year.

"We've got guys that went from no varsity role to they're going to have a huge varsity role," said Rhinelander Head Coach Derek Lemmens.

That's because the Hodags lost nine seniors from last year's conference championship team.

For the few returning varsity players, they know the change from JV to varsity will be a big one for the newcomers.

"The pace of the game, JV is a lot slower than varsity," said senior Reeve Craig. "We're going to be running up and down the court in a lot of transitions so we've got to get them in shape."

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MADISON - Kiah Francis stole the show at the Division Two state swim meet on Friday by winning two individual state titles.

However, it was the Tomahawk Hatchets, and not Francis' Rhinelander Hodags that dominated team competition throughout the year.

The Hatchets won a third straight Great Northern Conference crown and took home a sectional championship as well.

They wrapped up their season at state state meet on Friday with two new school records and a podium finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

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